House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was technologies.

Topics

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Yesterday, in the Public Accounts of Canada the auditor general accused the government of breaking its own accounting rules to distort its deficit. Yet the Liberals were the first to cry foul when the former Conservative government pulled a similar stunt.

Will the Minister of Finance finally admit that he has deliberately inflated the 1995-96 deficit by close to one billion dollars so as to purposely reduce the real deficit for 1996-97 by a corresponding amount?

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have just said, the auditor general has given a very clear opinion on the government's financial statements. What he said was that because the agreement in principle, not the detailed agreement, had been signed, the amount should have been included in another year, but we wanted to be more cautious, because it is very important to establish the federal government's credibility on international markets. That is what we have done.

I repeat, the auditor general has given a very clear opinion about the federal government's books.

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on a supplementary, will the Minister of Finance admit that he is actually cooking the books, purely with an election in mind, in order to mislead the public about the federal deficit?

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is not in order.

Exports
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

When I have a second, I will be able to ask my question.

The government strategy is to increase exports and double them by the year 2000. Could the minister please inform the House how he intends to meet this target, and how the government will achieve its jobs and growth strategy by the beginning of the next century?

Exports
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, coming off a record year of export increases, I am pleased to inform members of the House that in the latest statistics for the month of August we reached an all time record of $23.3 billion. That is an export level that we reached for the first time. Furthermore, we reached a trade surplus in that same month of again a record of some $4 billion.

For the first time in a dozen years we turned the corner in terms of the current account surplus. We are getting new trading companies involved in this trading operation, particularly small and

medium size businesses because that is where we are creating the jobs.

For every billion dollars of new exports, 11,000 jobs are sustained in this country. We are becoming more proactive. We are retooling, re-engineering our services so that the small and medium size enterprises continue to grow, continue to provide for record export levels.

Bombardier
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Yesterday in this House I asked the government to explain the connection between Bombardier's receiving huge government handouts and the fact that it contributed $170,000 to the Liberal Party over the last three years. I got no answer.

Section 121.(2) of the Criminal Code specifically outlines the rules against government kickbacks.

My question for the Prime Minister is would he explain-

Bombardier
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Bombardier
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I have a difficult time in that I allow quite a huge preamble, but I never know where some members are going when they ask their questions. It seems to me that there is an insinuation here.

I would ask the hon. member to please withdraw his last words about kickbacks.

Bombardier
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw that comment.

Bombardier
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank the hon. member for that and I ask the hon. member to put his question now.

Bombardier
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, would the Prime Minister explain the difference between the spirit of section 121.(2) of the Criminal Code and the ongoing relationship between Bombardier and the Liberal government?

Bombardier
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, nobody pays much attention to the type of completely distorted statement by the member, but we cannot expect much more from him.

The reality is that we have a law in Canada on electoral expenses and contribution and it is all public. I have a list of corporations that have given to the Reform Party, and I do not call those kickbacks. They are people who are contributing.

What we did yesterday or the day before with Canadair was to help a company that is becoming extremely competitive in the world today. It is sixth in the world as a builder of planes and it will be fourth soon.

I want to tell people that the company is very successful. It contributes to my party. It may contribute to other parties. It is all public. All contributions are public.

It is completely unacceptable to accuse us of providing a loan, which is to be repaid, to a successful Canadian company because it has given a contribution to the Liberal Party. But we know the level at which this member of Parliament loves to operate.

The Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

October 23rd, 1996 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

Yesterday, the minister asked about our policy on disclosing severance settlements. I remind you that our policy is the same as the Quebec government's, which is based on Quebec jurisprudence and puts severance pay in the same category as regular compensation, which is in the public domain.

If the minister is willing to be open, I am giving him another chance and asking him again to confirm that General Boyle received over half a million dollars in severance pay, and whether or not he intends to make this agreement public?

The Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I told him yesterday, I hope my hon. colleague understands that the rules are the same for everyone. Not only for General Boyle, but for every public servant, every member of the military, or anyone else working for the Government of Canada.

The settlements reached with General Boyle are within the rules established by Treasury Board. If the hon. member wants to find out more, he knows what he must do, because we in Canada have laws on the protection of personal information, which, I hope, will be respected in both Canada and Quebec.